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September 29, 2022

SUV used in Roxborough High School shooting found in Southwest Philly parking lot

Police are searching for five gunmen in Tuesday's ambush, which left one boy dead and injured four others after a football scrimmage

Investigations Shootings
Roxborough Shooting SUV Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A Ford Explorer recovered in Southwest Philly on Wednesday night appears to be the vehicle used in Tuesday's shooting at Roxborough High School. Police are searching for five gunmen and the driver of the vehicle.

Philadelphia police have recovered the Ford Explorer believed to have been used in Tuesday's ambush shootings outside Roxborough High School, where a 14-year-old boy was killed and four others were injured following a football scrimmage with two other high school teams.

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The SUV was located late Wednesday in a parking lot along the 6000 block of Passyunk Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia, the Inquirer reported. The lot is outside the Dream Boutique Adult Entertainment Center. The vehicle was taken to a police impound lot in Feltonville as authorities continue to search for five gunmen and the person who drove the vehicle during the attack.

The SUV was stolen earlier this year and had a temporary Delaware tag as a license plate.

On Wednesday, police released surveillance video from the scene of the shooting near Pechin Street and Fairway Terrace, behind the high school. The SUV had been parked on Pechin Street for 6 minutes before the five gunmen exited the vehicle, firing 61 shots as a group of football players were returning from the field.

The gunfire killed 14-year-old Nicholas Elizalde, a student at nearby Walter B. Saul High School and a member of Roxborough's junior varsity football team. Three of the other boys injured also played for the football team, along with a 17-year-old who authorities suspect may have been the target of the shooting, Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said Wednesday. The 17-year-old is not a student at Roxborough High School and he is not on the football team.

After the shooting, four of the five gunmen returned to the SUV, which fled the scene. The fifth gunman continued to chase down the 17-year-old, but ran out of bullets and fled on foot.

Police have not made any arrests and are offering a $45,000 reward for information leading to the suspects.

The motive for the shooting remains unknown, but Smith said Wednesday that investigators don't believe it had anything to do with the the football scrimmage, which also included teams from Northeast High School and Boys Latin High School.

Authorities said on Wednesday are looking into whether there was an altercation at Roxborough High School earlier on Tuesday that may be connected to the shooting, but did not provide any further details.

The shooting has brought grief and outrage to a part of Philadelphia that has largely been spared the worst of the city's spiraling epidemic of gun violence. The Roxborough community will hold a public prayer vigil Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Gorgas Park, which is next to Gorgas Park.